A new study has found that the finest hotels are not necessarily the cleanest.

An investigation by US-based site Travel Math found that four and five-star hotels actually contained more 'colony forming units' (CFUs) of bacteria than cheaper three-star accommodation.

Across all the hotels studied, there was found to be an average of 1,288,817 CFUs on bathroom counters and 1,211,687 CFUs on remote controls.

Looking at the dirtiest surface in a three-star hotel, the bathroom counter, it was revealed that there was an average of only 320,000 CFUs - around eight times fewer than a four-star hotel room and three times fewer than a five-star hotel room.


In four-star rooms, the bathroom counter was also the most bacteria-laden surface, followed by the desk. Among five-star hotels, the remote control took the dubious honour of germiest surface, followed by the bathroom counter.

Surprisingly, the study also revealed that the average hotel room appears to be dirtier than a typical home, an airplane and even a school.

Recently, hotel workers using the anonymous app Whisper made some shocking revelations about what goes on behind the scenes.

Users with a secret to get off their chests can submit text and images through the app, which can be searched for by topic.

Several users claimed the blankets in hotel rooms were only washed once a year.

Another said they used a lint roller on bedsheets, rather than washing them.

And proving that it always pays to be nice to the people looking after you, another said they would swap the sheets of badly behaved guests with "the most repulsive" person's bedding.

So, what's the best way to avoid picking up a nasty bug while staying in your luxurious abode?

Travel Math recommends disinfecting the most germ-prone surfaces with antibacterial wipes or spray - or try sealing the remote control in a clear plastic sandwich bag before using it.

- nzherald.co.nz